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Sunday, August 21, 2016

1950 Newspaper Reveals When Beury Monument Was Erected

Beury Monument in Quinnimont
It's time to unfurl the "Mission Accomplished" banner and to celebrate by writing another new post. For today, after being on the lookout for it for decades, I  finally stumbled upon a credible source that cites the year that the granite monument was erected in Quinnimont, WV, honoring Joseph Lawton Beury for shipping the first railroad car of coal from the New River Coalfield in 1873.

Now, with this great mystery solved, instead of saying the monument was "probably erected sometime in the 1920s" I can more precisely say it was erected "during the summer of 1921." [1]  Achieving better precision with fewer keystrokes is always a good thing, no?

But unfortunately, just as one Beury mystery was solved, another somehow managed to rear its ugly head. Let me elaborate...

When Joe Beury first came to open the coal mine at present-day Quinnimont, the area was quite literally, a wilderness. According to local legend, Beury gave the settlement that he helped forge, its name.

The story is oft' repeated that when Beury first came to the area, he and his wife lived in "a rude log cabin located on Laurel Creek" for about five years. But according to an old Shirley Donnelly newspaper column from 1962 [2], "One of the cabins that the pioneer coal operator lived in was removed in 1962 by a Huntington man, who took the cabin materials to his home at Huntington, where the cabin was rebuilt and restored."

Does one of the original Beury cabins from the 1870s still survive?  Developing...


[1] Beckley Post-Herald (Beckley, West Virginia) · Sat, Aug 26, 1950 · Page 124

[2] Beckley Post-Herald (Beckley, West Virginia) · Thu, May 18, 1967 · Page 4

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